Medium is the Message

The start of this week’s class was a little bit rough. We originally decided to meet on Wednesday at half 8 however unfortunately as it often happens life makes funny turns and Glen was locked out of his house and was unable to join us for the class, so the class was rescheduled to Thursday.

The class is still very shy to speak using the mic, the BAVA students are much more open with the mic, possibly because they have more experience with Second Life and the class.

The main focus of the class was a text written by Marchall McLuhan ‘Medium is the Message’, after attempting to read the original text I could it extremely hard to understand as from experience I found out that theories and philosophy are not my forte. However the blog post that John also asked us to read came to rescue. Medium is the Message deals with how the way information is delivered is just as important as the content it bares. TV one medium that is used to deliver information demands your entire attention, radio a different medium which is not as demanding can be on in the background and people can multitask and society has gotten used to the radio. The radio divided the day up for people. It didnt really interfear with family life, not the way that TV did. TV disturbed basic human interactions such as dinner, the introduction of TV led to inventions like TV dinners. People have migrated from the kitchen to the living room and as a result of that the layout of the living room also changed.

The example of the TV and radio both relate to the idea of ‘sense ratios’ that McLuhan developed which simply put is the idea that human beings receive information through a ratio of senses such as hearing, touch and sight and a change to this balance has consequences. The example that Mclouhan uses is the example of the alphabet and how it shifted the humans from being mainly hearing dependant species to a more visually oriented culture. This is very well described in the blog that we were assigned to read. This theory of the ‘sense ratios’ can be applied to the shift that occured when the TV was invented which allowed the information to be delivered in a visually pleasing manner comparing to the previously only means of recieving information that was the radio.

McLuhan’s theory states that the ability to develop tools that humans have is what defines the mankind. The tools that we use as human beings shape how we communicate as human beings, for example the hammer. The tools that we begin to use begin to have an impact on the society. The impact is very often invisible, it may be hard to identify the impact the medium is having on our society. This leads to the belief that the tools that we use to carry the messages have a greater impact on our society than the message itself.


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